Venue: This meeting will be held in line with the Local Authorities & Police & Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority & Police & Crime Panel Meetings) (England & Wales) Regulations 2020
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Declaration of Interests.
(Where a Councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest the Councillor must declare the interest and leave the meeting without participating in any discussion or making a statement on the item, except where a Councillor is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of dispensation.)
There were none.
(a) Variations to the Constitution relating to (i) the Council’s decision to bring the shared management arrangements between South Holland District Council and Breckland District Council to an end; (ii) virtual meetings; (iii) delegation arrangements for determining planning applications; (iv) future structure reviews; (v) special Council meetings; (vi) Staning Order no.29; (vii) independent persons; (viii) Full Council terms of reference; and (ix) Public Sector Partnership Services Limited amendments; and
(b) The designation of Statutory Officers and Proper Officers.
(report of the Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder – People, Place and Corporate, and the Executive Manager – Governance (Deputy Monitoring Officer) enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder – People, Places and Corporate, and the Executive Manager – Governance (Deputy Monitoring Officer) which asked Council to consider the following:
(a) Variations to the Constitution relating to
(i) the Council's decision to bring the shared management
arrangements between South Holland District Council and Breckland
District Council to an end;
(ii) virtual meetings;
(iii) delegation arrangements for determining planning applications;
(iv) future structure reviews;
(v) special Council meetings;
(vi) Standing Order no. 29:
(vii) independent persons;
(viii) Full Council terms of reference; and
(ix) Public Sector Partnership Services Limited amendments; and
(b) the designation of Statutory Officers and Proper Officers.
The Executive Manager – Governance suggested that the following additional
wording be added to the end of the first bullet point at recommendation 3 – ‘or
he ceases to be the Strategic Advisor, whichever is the sooner’.
Members considered the information, and the following issues were raised:
· With regard to virtual meetings, the Executive Manager Governance reported that the High Court had, that day, given its judgement that, in the absence of primary legislation, virtual meetings could not continue after 6 May 2021. Representative bodies including Lawyers in Local Government and the Association of Democratic Services Officers were lobbying government to legislate for the continuation of remote meetings. In these circumstances, the report proposed that the constitutional provisions made for remote meetings be retained until there was clarity on whether virtual meetings could continue in the future.
o The Leader responded that he had no concerns with regard to leaving the proposed changes within the Constitution, however, any change with regard to the future of virtual meetings was unlikely to happen soon. Primary legislation was required for this to happen, and there was currently no time scheduled within the parliamentary timetable for this. The Government were currently consulting with the sector to gain their feedback on the way forward.
· Paragraphs 5.8 - 5.10 within the report referred to Part 3 of the Constitution (Full Council terms of reference), and the fact that points (e) and (f) within the Constitution were not correct and were, in fact, Cabinet functions. Paragraph 5.10 stated that it was possible for issues referred to at (e) and (f) to go through a process of consultation with Full Council – members commented that this should be as a matter of course, rather than discretionary.
o Officers responded that the Council had a Policy Framework, and that the Policy Framework could be amended to reflect a situation where the scope of a service was to change significantly or where a scheme or a proposal would affect the district as a whole. A report could be brought to a future meeting to consider this further.
· Members noted that SHDC was retaining the services of the Strategic Advisor, who was also currently designated as the Head of Paid Service. The cost for two days per week had previously been ... view the full minutes text for item 98.
Exclusion of the Press and Public
Under section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public were excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 3 of part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Constitution and other matters
With regard to the Strategic Advisor and Head of Paid Service, members were provided with information regarding the contractual and financial position relating to the Strategic Advisor/Head of Paid Service.
To date, there had been no requirement to undertake any work specifically in his capacity as Head of Paid Service. It was noted that this was a statutory role and an appointment to this position was therefore required. The work undertaken over the last few months had been within the role as Strategic Advisor.
(The meeting returned to open session at this juncture).
That the following variation to the Constitution be approved:
(3) That the following statutory designations be formally made to apply with effect from 1 May 2021:
· Head of Paid Service – Nathan Elvery (on an interim basis until such time as the Council designates or appoints a permanent Head of Service, or he ceases to be the Strategic Advisor, whichever is the sooner)
· Monitoring Officer - Mark Stinson - Assistant Director Governance
· Section 151 Officer - Christine Marshall - Executive Director Strategy and Resources
and the Glossary of Terms (Definitions Relating to Staff) be amended accordingly.